History of Ben Franklin: The Original Founding Father?

Ben Franklin

HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN We know this polymath as a writer, publisher, printer, merchant, scientist, moral philosopher, international diplomat, and inventor. He invented the glass harmonica in music, but he also invented the Franklin stove and started the first lending library and fire brigade in Philadelphia. He did experiments with electricity and developed the lightning…

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History of John Adams

John Adams

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: JOHN ADAMS Before John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under George Washington, the second President of the United States, the first resident of the White House, and the writer of the Massachusetts State Constitution, he was one of the creators of the Declaration of Independence…

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History of the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

HISTORY OF THE 4th OF JULY: THOMAS JEFFERSON Beginning our series on the History of the 4th of July featuring the Founding Fathers Perhaps no one person is more associated with the 4th of July in American history than Thomas Jefferson, probably because it was his hand that penned the immortal Declaration of Independence. As…

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History of Saints Peter and Paul Day

greco, el sts peter and paul

HISTORY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL DAY June 29 marks the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It is a liturgical feast also called the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.   Why Not a Separate Feast Day for Each? Each of these men is a major figure in the history of Christianity, and each…

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History of All You Need Is Love, by The Beatles

All You Need Is Love

HISTORY OF ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, BY THE BEATLES On June 25, 1967, The Beatles released the song “All You Need Is Love.” At that time, they participated in the Our World TV show, which used the recently constructed communication satellite system and broadcast their performance across the globe. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said…

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History of St. John the Baptist Day: Midsummer

St John the Baptist

HISTORY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST DAY The Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Nativity of St John the Forerunner, sometimes called St. John the Baptist Day, is celebrated on June 24 in many places worldwide, though not much in the United States, as we’ll see below. The celebration of the Feast of…

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Science of the Strawberry Moon

full moon rising behind chasseral during sunset photo by giles laurent

Science of the Strawberry Moon Strawberries emerge in May and ripen in June, giving their name to June’s Full Moon. This Strawberry Moon, which often coincides with the Summer Solstice, will reach peak illumination in the United States on Friday, June 21, at 9:08 p.m., E.T. It also goes by other names: Green Corn Moon,…

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Science of the Summer Solstice: Start of Summer

Summer Solstice

SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER SOLSTICE Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning “Sun, standing still.” The Summer Solstice occurs on June 20 at 20:51 UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich, England, is the prime meridian — the zero point for longitude lines. Why is UTC the abbreviation for Coordinated…

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History of Juneteenth: and the Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH: and the Emancipation Proclamation June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, historically marked the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 – and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 – this formerly obscure holiday is now…

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History of Father’s Day: the Beginning

Fathers Day

HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY: the Beginning [NOTE: I wrote a more extended and serious version of this article for CBS.com several years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities nationwide. You can find that article here.]   Origin of Father’s Day The celebration of Father’s Day goes back to…

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History of Flag Day

Flag Day

HISTORY OF FLAG DAY June 14 is Flag Day in the United States. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary War.

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History of Shavuot: The Feast of Weeks

Shavuot poster, late 1940s

HISTORY OF SHAVUOT Tonight at sunset, June 11, begins the Jewish holiday Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks, and continues until sundown on June 13. The holiday, also known in Greek as Pentecost, is on the sixth day of the Hebrew lunarsolar calendar month of Sivan, which means that in the Gregorian solar…

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